About the Foundation

The Norbert Elias Foundation was established in 1983 on the initiative of Norbert Elias himself. He had no close relatives and decided that his estate should, therefore, be used to stimulate research in the social sciences, especially in light of his own broad vision. When Elias died on 1 August 1990, the Foundation was his sole legatee, thereby inheriting the copyrights on his published works and unpublished manuscripts.

The mission of the Foundation is to preserve the memory of Norbert Elias and to promote research in the field of human sciences, especially sociology and social history, but as well all sciences of humankind, “for which no Nobel Prize is awarded.” Elias emphasized especially the support of young scientists who have “their own opinions and be critical to the work of the founder.”

To this end, the Foundation supports scientific conferences, publications, awards scholarships and scientific prizes. We support the dissemination of his work, over the last years more and more with the help of the internet, and function as a hub for those people worldwide who are interested in “figurational research”; research in topics, theories and methods in which Elias was interested.